“I can’t believe it!” You hear people say that all the time, mostly for good things: winning prizes, surprises, first place! When I use that phrase it’s because my curly-haired boy with blue eyes and blonde hair, who picked all the dandelions in the front yard, grew up and killed himself.  I can’t even believe I just typed that sentence.

I think it’s hard for moms to grasp that the person that once lived inside of them doesn’t want to live anymore. Suicide is something that happens to other people, not to us.

We feel the perpetual connection of mother-to-child from our first awareness that they are a soul embodied in flesh inside of us, until the day when we will leave them behind on this earth as we go to heaven. But somehow all of that got turned upside down and they broke the bond. They left first.

I’ve referred to this connection before as a kite string. It tugs at our hearts their whole life and we see into their innermost being like this–

That’s what we feel, no matter how much they pull away or how robotic and uncommunicative they become, we know that line is tugging at our hearts, that line that ensures us they are ours. Even when they look like this–

Shut down, shut off, we know that other boy is still in there somewhere because we can feel the tug of the kite string. Then the day comes when the line goes slack. They are gone and we can’t believe it. There’s no more tug on the line. There used to be a kite roaming free, way up high out of sight in the clouds and now we are just holding a slack line. We don’t dare reel the line in, to the end and see nothing there. Because that would make it true. We live in the perpetual reality of my son is gone/ I can’t believe my son is gone. Why am I holding this slack string? Where did the kite go? I want to be two years old so I can stand on the hill and scream about my lost kite forever.

Thank God, He didn’t leave me there screaming at the top of the hill. He lets me hold my slack line. He knows I still need it. And He lets me find myself in His Word. Maybe this is you, too:

 “…I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.”

God, that’s me! Someone else felt that way? They not only felt that way, but they triple qualified their feelings by saying:

  1. I am speaking the truth in Christ
  2. I am not lying
  3. My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit

…that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. So this guy wants to let us know in no uncertain terms that he really feels this way. I believe him because I get it.

What I love is that the author was someone God used arguably more than any other servant in the New Testament. It’s Paul! So if God can use Paul with that much agony in his heart. God can use me. My story is woven with great sorrow and unceasing anguish and it may always include this great sorrow and unceasing anguish. But that doesn’t end my story. He has purposes for me. He has purposes for my boy, in heaven, where he is living them out, right now.

If  Randy Alcorn is correct in his study of heaven based on scripture, then God may allow Tristan to look down at appointed times. Maybe one of those times Tristan will be with Paul. Maybe they could hear God say something like, “remember when you felt that way down there?” 

“Oh yes. And look at all that You did with it, Lord.” would be their answer.

Holy Father, thank you for showing me myself in Your Word. I’m so glad I found that verse. As soon as I saw it I knew what Paul felt like. Even though his grief was for a different reason than mine, it was still heartwrenching. I didn’t know he did all those things in agony of soul. I don’t really feel like You can use me for anything as I am right now. Help me to trust You for that. Afterall it’s YOUR story, not mine. Save me from myself. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Romans 9:1-2 ESV